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   7 Excellent
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  Less than 5-maybe it is time for a food safety update!

1) Which one of these statements about bacteria is true?

        C  Bacteria grow fastest when they are warm.

 Most food poisoning bacteria grow best at 37°C , although they can multiply between 5°C and 63°C.

Food should not be left out at ambient (room) temperature for any more than two hours. After that time bacterial growth may be rapid. (Not all types of bacteria cause food poisoning.)

Freezing does not kill bacteria. (Their growth stops and they go into hibernation.)

Some bacteria survive in conditions where there is no air such as in large cuts of meat, stews, sauces, gravy and even inside canned and bottled food.

Keep cooked food hot (above 63°C for no more than two hours), and cold food cold.

Prepare and cook food to as near to time of eating as possible.

2) The temperature inside your fridge should be:

        B    The ideal temperature inside your refrigerator should be between 1 and 4°C.

Always read the refrigerator manufacturer's instructions, and storage instructions on food labelling.

In food premises cold food must be kept cold or chilled below 8°C

3) Which one of these foods is likely to contain the most bacteria

          C  Frozen raw chicken is likely to contain the most bacteria.

The key risk in chicken is from Salmonella and Campylobacter

Before cooking defrost chicken thoroughly. To do this, remove the chicken from its wrapper. Put in a deep covered container. Place the container in the bottom of a fridge (or cool part of the kitchen) until completely defrosted (check by pushing in a clean knife or skewer) Cook the chicken straight away, or place in the lowest part of the fridge for no more than 24 hours. (You should always wash your hands, containers, utensils and all surfaces that have come into contact with raw meat thoroughly)

When cooking ensure that  the oven is preheated before putting the chicken in to ensure that bacteria in the centre of food will be killed. The  core (centre or thickest part) of the chicken should reach 75° (juices will run clear in a correctly cooked chicken)

Mayonnaise – Unopened jars do not need to be refrigerated, Once opened the bottled mayonnaise must be kept in a fridge and used by the date as instructed on the label

Tinned Steak- An unopened and undamaged tin can should contain no food poisoning bacteria at all. If there is some left over , store in a suitable container, refrigerate and use within 24 hours

4) Food poisoning bacteria will multiply readily between

         C . 5°C to 63°C.

Between -18°C to 0°C  some bacteria (especially the kind that spoil food by making it look taste and smell horrible) will start to grow but only very very slowly.

At 0°C to 5°C bacteria will grow slowly.

(Remember that fridges do not kill bacteria. They only extend the safe shelf life of food by a few days.)

Above 63°C to 90°C most bacteria will be killed, However, there are bacteria which form spores.( a hard outer coating forms to protect bacteria). The spores themselves do not cause food poisoning, but allow the bacteria to survive extreme heat & if the food is  then cooled  too slowly this allows the spores to germinate and the bacteria to multiply.

Typical spore forming bacteria are Clostridium perfringens (associated with large cuts of meat, stews, mince dishes, etc) and Bacillus cereus (associated with inadequately cooled cooked rice and re-heated rice).

5) The temperature in your freezer should be:

         D      -18°C, or below.

Always read the freezer manufacturer's instructions, and the storage instructions on food labelling. Above -18°C food can start to spoil

If you run a food business and regularly receive frozen food reject any food which is delivered to you at -12°C or above. Contact the supplier immediately to inform them of the problem

6) At work, the best way to dry your hands after washing is

              D     Using a paper towel is the most ideal way of drying hands.

This is because the paper is absorbent and can be disposed of straight away

Warm air dryers may not remove water from your hands. Wet hands provide an ideal breeding ground for bacteria

Cotton towels, when damp may provide a breeding ground for bacteria which can then be spread indirectly from person to person or person to equipment

7) Food contaminated with food poisoning bacteria would:

            C             Food poisoning bacteria cannot be smelled, tasted or seen  on food -except with the aid of a microscope. Therefore the food could look, taste and smell perfectly normal but still make you ill

Spoilage bacteria (which do not usually cause food poisoning) can make the food look, taste and smell strange


8)  Food poisoning can occur after eating food from

    D             Food poisoning can occur because of poor practice anywhere, even at home!


9) If you have diarrhoea and vomiting it definitely means that:

d)   you should contact your local Environmental Health Department who will decide if further action is necessary

Blame cannot be pointed at a particular premises or business owner without satisfactory scientific based evidence

Are your food preparation and cooking practices at home safe? Eg Do you follow storage and preparation instructions and use by dates on  food labels, or follow the instructions for using equipment in your kitchen eg for reheating ready meals in a microwave?

Food poisoning commonly  occurs as a result of eating contaminated food up to 4 days previously  so it is not necessarily caused by what you ate last

Diahorrea & sickness is not necessarily caused by contaminated food- eg Norovirus ('winter vomiting bug')  is the biggest cause of DIV in the UK(80%) & causes similar symptoms but is more likely to be transferred in the air from a contaminated person

  If you would like any further information on food safety training-please check out the links on the top of the page-or give us a call (01207) 693828